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Cost Accounting and the False Claims Act

In this episode, Jason Crawford, Agustin Orozco, and Erin Rankin look back at one of the more noteworthy settlements of 2023—the $377M settlement by Booz Allen Hamilton to resolve allegations arising out of the company’s purported non-compliance with Cost Accounting Standards. “Let’s Talk FCA” is Crowell & Moring’s

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This week’s episode covers a Federal Circuit decision about jurisdiction under the Contract Disputes Act, a claim for additional costs relating to COVID related delays, and a False Claims Act settlement touching on cybersecurity and self-disclosure, and is hosted by Peter Eyre and Yuan Zhou. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” is a biweekly podcast

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A False Claims Act (FCA) settlement recently announced by the U.S. Department of Justice stands at the intersection of two evolving trends:  DOJ’s increasing focus on cybersecurity lapses by government contractors as part of its Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative, and DOJ policies incentivizing corporations to voluntarily self-disclose violations of federal law.

On September 5, 2023, DOJ announced a $4 million settlement with Verizon Business Network Services LLC (Verizon) addressing allegations that Verizon violated the FCA because certain telecommunications services it provided to federal agencies under its General Services Administration (GSA) contracts did not comply with applicable cybersecurity requirements, namely the Office of Management and Budget’s Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative.  DOJ specifically alleged that Verizon’s Managed Trusted Internet Protocol Service (MTIPS)—an information technology service that allows federal agencies to securely connect to public internet and external networks—did not comply with three security controls in the Department of Homeland Security’s TIC Reference Architecture Document, including a control that required the use of FIPS 140-2 validated cryptography.  The Verizon settlement represents the latest example of DOJ’s continued focus on cybersecurity cases, a trend that we believe will only continue to escalate going forward.Continue Reading Civil Cyber-Fraud Settlement Highlights Potential for Cooperation Credit

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Although the COVID-19 public health declaration officially ended in May, government investigations of pandemic relief fraud are from over. As observed in a recent report by the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, investigations will likely ensue for years to come in light of Congress’s decision to extend the statute of limitations to ten

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This week’s episode covers two notable False Claims Act settlements and the White House National Cybersecurity Strategy Implementation Plan, and is hosted by Peter Eyre and Yuan Zhou. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” is a biweekly podcast that provides a brief summary of significant government contracts legal and regulatory developments that no government contracts

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The continual push and pull between the courts and Congress over the contours of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) has once again spawned proposed legislation unfavorable to FCA defendants, this time poised to curtail defense arguments that continued government payment of claims in the face of alleged noncompliance with contractual or other legal requirements demonstrates a lack of materiality.

On July 25, 2023, a bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation entitled the “False Claims Act Amendments of 2023.”  Spearheaded by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the principal author of the 1986 FCA amendments, the bill purportedly attempts to close certain FCA defense “loopholes” left open by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 579 U.S. 176 (2016) (“Escobar”).  Senator Grassley has been an outspoken critic of more recent FCA judicial developments, which he deems a gradual curbing of the power of the “single greatest tool in the fight against fraud.”  These newest proposed amendments are another example of Grassley’s advocacy for stronger and more rigid fraud enforcement than courts have been willing to impose based on the text of the FCA. Continue Reading He’s a Material Guy in a Material World: Senator Grassley Proposes FCA Amendments to Weaken Materiality Defense Where Government Pays Despite Knowledge of Non-Compliance

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In this episode, Jason Crawford, Agustin Orozco, and Lyndsay Gorton discuss the Supreme Court’s opinion in United States ex rel. Polansky, which held in an 8-1 decision that the Department of Justice maintains broad authority to dismiss qui tam cases over a relator’s objection. The hosts also discuss Justice Thomas’s dissenting opinion which could

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On June 16, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court, in United States ex rel. Polansky v. Executive Health Resources Inc., held that the Government may seek dismissal of a False Claims Act (“FCA”) qui tam suit over a relator’s objection so long as it intervenes in the litigation, either during the initial seal period or afterward.  The Court also held that, when handling such a motion, district courts should apply Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 41(a), the rule generally governing voluntary dismissal of suits.  And in a dissent that—in the long run—may end up being more impactful than the Court’s holding, Justice Thomas (joined in a concurring opinion by Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett) questioned the constitutionality of the qui tam provisions themselves.  Continue Reading See(2)(A) You Later: Supreme Court Holds that DOJ Has Broad Dismissal Authority Even After Unsealing

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In this episode, Jason Crawford, Brian Tully McLaughlin, and Agustin Orozco explore the issues before the Supreme Court in two consolidated cases involving the False Claims Act. The hosts discuss the April 18 oral argument in Schutte/Proctor where the question before the Justices is whether a defendant’s subjective knowledge about whether its conduct was legal